Black History Month

February is Black History Month in USA and Canada

February is Black History Month in USA and Canada. In the UK, it is celebrated in October

Black History Month got its start in 1926 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an African American, promoted Negro History Week in February.

The time was selected because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln which had been notable dates for the black community since the start of the twentieth century.

Also known as African-American History Month, it was first observed by students and faculty at Kent State University in 1970. In 1976 it evolved into a month-long celebration in 1976 and became a national holiday when President Gerald Ford recognized “the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history” in a speech to mark the United States Bicentennial.

It is a time for all Americans to reflect on both the history and teachings of African Americans, and to focus on the progress, richness and diversity of African American achievements.

Black History Month has no overall coordinating body - anybody can organise an event. Consequently, every year sees an eclectic mix - from historical walks to seminars - organised by, for example, local authorities, schools, and voluntary organisations.

Today Black History Month is celebrated not only in the US, but around the globe by five different countries.

Black History month in the United Kingdom

After visiting America in the 1970s, Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, founded the UK's version of Black History Month in 1987.

There are two reasons thought to be behind why Black History Month is celebrated in October in the UK.

Traditionally, October is when African chiefs and leaders gather to settle their differences, so Akyaaba chose this month to reconnect with African roots.

Additionally, many thought that since it was the beginning of the new academic year, October would give black children a sense of pride and identity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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